Morris Adjmi Architects is taking on a warehouse renovation the likes of which are seldom seen, if ever. The Austin Nichols House is not just a warehouse on the Williamsburg waterfront, but also a massive historic icon in the neighborhood. Soon, it will undergo a major transformation into a condominium development. The 100-year-old concrete building is a treasured gem, with stellar views of the Manhattan skyline and a rich history, and the transformation aims to reinvigorate the icon for years to come.
Unlike many of the city’s large buildings, the warehouse at 184 Kent Avenue sprawls outward instead of upward, leading to its nickname “the horizontal skyscraper.” Originally designed by Woolworth Building architect Cass Gilbert for the Austin, Nichols & Co, the city’s biggest grocer, the seven-story warehouse structure was built in 1915 and underwent a renovation in 2010 to become a 338-unit apartment complex. Now, Morris Adjmi Architects will level it up once more, turning those apartments into condominiums. One of the earliest reinforced concrete warehouses in the country, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so the task of transforming it into modern luxury condos is a delicate one. The architecture firm has released design concepts that demonstrate how the conversion will pay homage to the neighborhood’s culture and history.
The renovation will imbue the warehouse building, which currently houses rental units, with luxury and style without detracting from its historical significance and architectural elegance. Morris Adjmi Architects envisions condo units ranging from studio to three-bedroom floor plans which will be outfitted with porcelain tile floors, walnut beams, custom kitchens, and stone and concrete-clad bathrooms. The firm is also designing the building amenities to include a new lobby area with a 500-square-foot green wall that features 3,500 plants from 25 species. The building will also house a fitness center, musicians’ jam room, and rooftop sundeck, as well as coworking space and a café.
Images via Morris Adjmi Architects